Competition to Win Free, Signed Paperback of Screaming Angels!

My new romantic spy novel Screaming Angels published!

 

To celebrate, I will be giving away one, signed copy  of Screaming Angels to my Newsletter readers in a competition on 16 October at 5pm BST. To sign up for the Newsletter before then, click here or go to the menu  at the top of this page.

Screaming Angels paperback at Amazon.

Screaming Angels Kindle.

Screaming Angels paperback at B&N.

Yulia let the rare intimacy hang in the air. It floated away on the evening’s love.

“The biggest twist was at the end – I really didn’t see that coming” – Eileen Thornton

How the Soviets stole the secret of Rolls Royce’s best jet engine and built the greatest fighter in the world.

Excerpt:
Don, the only member of his Rolls Royce Nene team that called his boss Ed, was a working-class Yorkshireman, Edward, a graduate from Dorking. They were Surrey chalk and Yorkshire cheese, but when Don had yelled “Pass Ed!” during a company football match, Edward let the term of endearment go with a smile and they had been close ever since.
“Right! Let’s tidy away and get testing!”
The seven men tightened every bolt on the jet engine’s outer casing, checked the test stand bolts for tension once more and wiped everything clean. Edward left the test chamber through the partition door and took up station with the rest of the team, behind the control panel. Don checked the last few hose connectors and left the chamber, closing the thick door behind him, but struggled to slide in the heavy draw bolt for a moment, with his back turned. Edward couldn’t see what Don was doing.
“Don’t touch the master door lock!” Edward joked.
“I never would. There! Got it!”
Edward completed the test form, pushing his spectacles up on the bridge of his nose to focus better:

Monday 22 July, 1946
RB.41 Nene MK.3 throttle-up test. Attending: Nene team, headed by Donald Hill. Manager: Edward Torrens.

“Right. Fire her up Don!”
Edward’s affable smile belied the tension in the small control room. The cream, concrete partitions had been designed to muffle the sound of WWII piston engines, not stop exotic alloy jet turbine blades, turning three or four times as fast, from exploding. Only a few weeks previously another of Edward’s Nene engineers had been injured when a fragment penetrated the wall and ripped part of his cheek away. As Don pressed the starter button, Edward wondered why such an alchemist’s brew of wires, alloys and unearthly, screaming power amounted only to the placid sounding ‘Nene’ in the Rolls Royce executives’ minds. Everything went well until Edward yelled into Don’s ear at the top of his voice:
“Full power!”
Edward realised he had actually crossed his fingers, just before he heard a high-pitched, metallic ‘ping.’ He lunged for the red cut-off button and smashed it down with his fist.
Don and the others stared at him with blank expressions, as if trapped in a slow-motion movie clip.
“Duck!” Edward yelled, before dropping to the floor and scrambling under the bench, dragging Don with him.
The turbine’s shriek had dropped in pitch about half an octave in those few seconds, but then the air ripped apart with a giant explosion. The sound or rending metal, mixed with the sound of concrete being ripped apart and debris hitting the walls made them shut their eyes and pray.
Eventually, silence returned, followed a moment later by the blaring of alarms and the sound of rushing feet.
“I didn’t hear owt!” Don said between coughs. “Bloody good job the engine revs dropped a few thousand! Or else I don’t think any of us would be here!”
Covered in white concrete dust and debris, the others scrambled to their feet while Edward looked for his spectacles in the debris. He found the metal frames, but the round lenses were both missing.
“I heard it!” he muttered. “A fan blade breaking loose. One of the advantages of managing four test teams and attending all tests – not that Sanderson approves. You learn what to listen for! I lost my spectacles and I think some of the glass went in my eye. I can’t see!”

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What is the back-story behind your books?

This week: Here is the back-story behind my newly published volumes of The Ice Boat Volume II and The Ice Boat – 2 in 1. What is your back-story?

The Ice Boat
In the Lazlo Ferran Newsletter which went out to my friends last weekend, I announced the publication of the last volume of The Ice Boat and a 2 in 1 version, which includes both volumes in one book.

I published Volume I back in 2009. It is semi-autobiographical, largely anecdotal, and was the first novel I wrote, even further back, in 2003.

The Ice Boat is largely autobiographical, although certainly not for most of the erotic passages, which are many. It was written at a time in my life when I was frustrated by my own lack of wisdom; in particular my inability to be neither totally cynical or optimistic. Perhaps because I had just moved from a life as a full-time musician to an IT professional within the science sector, I felt a little bit ‘dislocated’.

I remember completing it while on holiday in Spain. I sat on my balcony, late into the hot evenings, writing the last chapters with a cold drink! The whole novel was written on paper. Writing in long-hand allows your thoughts to flow more freely. I think that is why this book is more like a stream-of-consciousness than any of my other books. The drawback was that ten years later when I re-located the manuscript for Volume II, I couldn’t read my own handwriting!

I lost the manuscript for Volume II when I married and it wasn’t found until late in 2013 by a cleaner! Now it is published for the first time.

That is the story behind my book The Ice Boat. What is yours?

Description of The Ice Boat
“The only reason anyone went out was to buy drinks in town. The tide of cans was always in on the studio floor.”

With plenty of drugs, sex and rock and roll; The Ice Boat is a modern pop-culture odyssey.

David Dee has almost got it; with a solicitor girlfriend, a job, a flat and a band in London, he almost has the happiness he has worked for all his life. His reluctance to compromise takes him away from London to disaster in Rio de Janeiro and on to surreal adventure and self-discovery in Amsterdam.

You can buy ‘The Ice Boat’ Volumes I and II in one book: The Ice Boat – 2 in 1 at a considerable saving.

All three eBooks and paperbacks of The Ice Boat are available on Amazon from today:
The Ice Boat – Volume I http://bit.ly/OqGsCT
The Ice Boat – Volume II http://bit.ly/1gCfK15
The Ice Boat – 2 in 1 http://bit.ly/1g08qwE

Blog: The Fast and the Furious

This Week’s Excerpt
This week it comes from the upcoming publication which is currently going under the name Escher’s Staircase. I am going off that title though; anyway its an erotic suspense novel with deep philosophical angles (I hope!). This part is from an unnamed section but lets call it The Detective. If you read the novel you will know where it fits in.

Escher’s Staircase
Copyright © 2013 by Lazlo Ferran
All Rights Reserved.

The red 1971 Pontiac LeMans Convertible streaked along the highway at full speed. The muscular driver behind the wheel was wearing Ray Ban’s and his medium-length brown hair was ruffled violently by the air-stream over the windscreen. He seemed intent only on the road ahead. He held the accelerator flat to the floor with his foot. On the passenger seat was an elegant blonde. Her hair too was flowing out behind her head in the turbulent air. Her head was reclined and at rest on the top of the seat. She appeared to be asleep. The car raced on.
This case started – as I’d always dreamed the best one would, with a blonde walking into my office. Actually, she was better than the blondes I have dreamed of. Tall – statuesque even, with an hourglass figure a man could kill for, she somehow had the face of a top call girl but the eyes of childhood innocence. She looked like my first, my last love, and I was hooked.
I had to take another drag on my cigarette before I could talk:
“Yes? Can I help you?”
“I hope so. I need you to find a killer.”
“Whose?”
“My sister’s.”
I stubbed my cigarette butt out and blew a long stream of white smoke towards the window. “Okay, so why aren’t the LAPD interested?”
“They gave up, Mr Andrews.” My name slid off her tongue like an oyster but I wanted to hear her to use my first name.
“Right. You have funds?”
“I have what it takes.”
“Yeah. Let’s just start with the basics.” I took out a creased pro-forma and filled it in as she supplied the answers. When I had finished, she had lit an expensive cigarette. It floated between her fingers as if she were trying to stop it drifting away. “That’ll be one grand for the first month, including expense, payable half in advance and half on completion. You will receive a full, written report at the end of the month and a free one hour consultation as part of a revue. If you wish to continue, the rate will probably be similar. Does this sound okay?”
“Yes.”
“Okay. Sign and print your name here and then if you would like to pay the deposit, I have a few questions.” She signed using her own pink pen from her handbag. She was wearing a blue three piece with a very short, tight skirt and a matching hat. Whoever’s woman she was had to be paying for this investigation. I put her at twenty-two.
“I’ve no doubt … Miss Stevens …” I began, reading her name from the form. “…I can find out a good deal from the Court Records but suppose you tell me what I won’t find there?”
“Alright. My sister… older sister by two years, was murdered … shot near the corner of Sunset and Vine late one night while leaving a restaurant and walking to a car. The car belonged to Johnny Chico. Here’s her photo.” She pulled a folded, glossy 10×8 from her handbag, opened it up and lay it in front of me.
“She looks just like you; could be your twin?” The blonde opposite nodded noncommittally.
“I’m going with him now. He likes young blondes.” She blew a plume of white smoke to emphasise her point. “I have reason to believe it’s Johnny’s ex who had my sister shot. Shavaun would not have done anything to deserve being shot. I believe it was to punish Johnny. I want you to find him.”
“I presume Johnny is paying for this.”
“Yes, but he tried to stop me. You see, I think his ex, Stella, wants to kill me now. She is only interested in money. If I don’t catch the killer – and her, it will be my head on her plate next.”

Other News
As I begin to think about starting work on my out-and-out Vampire novel this track has become my inspiration (Well it is from Romania!). It’s hauntingly beautiful so give it a listen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUlD_uwu_P0 by Cleopatra Stratan. Enjoy! She’s on Facebook, search for Cleostratan (her profiles seem to change around a lot).
Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate will be free from 30 August-3 September on Amazon so tell everyone, their dogs, their friends and their dog’s best friends!
Lastly, here is my cast for Too Bright the Sun. Try adding your own!

Other News
A review of an old classic this week: the film The Naked Jungle (1954). I watched this with the g/f and its pretty much the first film of my choice we have watched together.
It’s an old pot-boiler with Charlton Heston, Eleanor Parker and William Conrad (who went on to play Cannon, the detective. Really it is mostly Heston and Parker thrashing out a bizarre bride-by-post situation on a plantation in deepest South America around the turn of the century. In fact Conrad plays the guy who stood in for Parker’s character at the marriage-by-proxy ceremony and he does his best to defend her against an nihilistic and increasingly agitated Christopher (Heston). Parker is brilliant as the gorgeous and forceful Joanna who has walked into the marriage with both eyes open and is determined to make a success of it. Moreover she actually falls for Christopher who is stubborn, ambitious, innocent of women but above all, lonely. He himself says he only knows how to be first and he soon finds out that as far as men go, he is not Joanna’s first. Heston hams it up brilliantly and ad-libs a scene where he throws perfume over her before demanding she leaves on the next boat. The scene is brilliantly echoed by the director when the gooseberry – a swarm of lethal Soldier Ants come to town: Christopher throws a glass bottle containing one of the ants against a painting of his own plantation hitting it squarely in the building – his palace.
The ants swarmed every 25 years (this actually has some truth to it though I believe it is not expected to happen again) and threaten to destroy Christopher’s empire. The ants throw the couple together in a struggle to survive and save the plantation.
Heston does overact a bit towards the end and the climax is rather truncated but the film comes in at a tight 95 minutes so even my girlfriend didn’t get bored! Its early Heston at his best and does Parker proud. The direction and editing is pretty good too. An early example of disaster movies and a very good one. Watch it!